Stained Glass Window Arch – for That’s Crafty!

Following my TV appearance a fortnight ago, I do apologise for not getting a tutorial done earlier as I promised – I came down with a humdinger of a cold the week following the shows. Between the lethargy, the laryngitis and other stuff, I didn’t get to do what I wanted in The Studio. ‘Tis done now though, so grab a cup of your favourite beverage and start reading!


I thought I would show you how I created my stained glass window arch using the fabulous Arch Upright from That’s Crafty! since I didn’t get the chance to show it off on air. Mixing different types of ink (alcohol and Distress) and paint, and making full use of a Dinky Stencil, this window brings together a number of techniques to complete a mixed media mediaeval masterpiece!

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Quilt No 017: Aldi Christmas Special

img_7435_wI can’t believe it has been over a year since I have completed a quilt. That’s not to say I haven’t been quilting – I have a couple of tops that I have been procrastinating over (I really hate laying out and pinning), one of which is a year late being delivered (so sorry Beth and Mike!). These two table runners use Christmas-themed fat quarters that were part of Aldi’s recent ‘So Crafty’ promotion. You really can’t go wrong with six fat quarters for less than £4. They’re not necessarily patterns and contrasts that I would have chosen but after cutting them according to Barbara Chainey’s ‘Fast Quilts From Fat Quarters’ cutting plan, I put them together to make the main squares (12″x12″), before sashing and binding with left over fabric.

I used basic stitch-in-the-ditch quilting in the long table runner, and a holly leaf design of my own making for the shorter side table runner below. I actually quilted the smaller runner first, and had such a hard time marking the quilting pattern on the dark fabric that it put pay to more complex quilting on the larger.


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Show Time! – for That’s Crafty! on Hochanda

I am live on Hochanda – the home of crafts, hobbies and art – available on Sky 663, Freeview 85 or Freesat 817, and on right now. With top tips for working with That’s Crafty! Surfaces, clock stacks and dreamcatchers, I’ll also be showcasing Pentart glass paints and Express Transfer medium.

I’ll be posting mini-tutorials for each of the projects over the next week. Don’t forget to check out the fabulous That’s Crafty! blog and the design team blogs (on the That’s Crafty! blog side bar)  for more inspiration and projects.

Oh, I’m on at 11am as well, or you can catch up or watch again for the next 10 days over at Hochanda’s online TV Schedule – just set the date in the drop down list for 7th October and look for my shows at 8am and 11am.

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Art Journal Page: Secrets


It’s no secret that time flies when you’re busy! Lots of prep going on behind the scenes ready for my TV return next week, and a weekend away in the Lakes wasn’t exactly a rest, but it was a lovely break with lovely friends. But back to the here and now, and I’ve rustled up another art journal page. It’s been a while, but I have to make an example for Monday night’s art journal session in The Studio!

The highlights of this page are: brayer layers, and the newly available Molotow Liquid Chrome pens. These are alcohol based markers in various nib widths, and on a smooth surface, they really are impressively flat and mirror like when dry. I’ll let you know if they perform better than Krylon leafing pens after a couple of weeks of non-use. And I’ll let you know when and where you can get them – I’ve been sent samples to play with 🙂

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BTS [Behind the Scenes]: Product Prep

Sometimes I go quiet on here… Regular readers will know that I’m always up to something (holidays are infrequent), and often can’t share my makes until after a ‘press embargo’ has been lifted. Happily, Hochanda seem to be less restrictive than a certain other channel I’ve done work for: keep your eyes peeled for sneaky peeks at the end of the month. Oh, and in passing, if you haven’t found the TV menu option above, that’s where you will find the latest information I have as to when I’m next on your screens.

Back to the point – I thought it would be fun to share a photo of my studio workspace as it appears right now. I’m in the middle of learning new products and prepping samples from which my show demonstrations will be developed. Whoever said that men can’t multi-task? I must be an exception as there are three different projects on the go at the moment – as I am waiting for one to dry, I’m working on the others.


Don’t worry about the naff lighting – that’s done in Photoshop so that I can hide the piles of stuff still waiting for their permanent home. So there’s glass paint, acrylic paint, crackle medium, varnishes, acrylic pieces, MDF pieces, a brayer, brushes and sponges, frost effect paint, Posca pens, scissors, a screwdriver and Gorilla glue, various polymer stamps, archival ink and not nearly enough tea. It does however support the adage that men typically do not clear up after themselves… But by tea time tomorrow, all has to be tidied away for another night of crafting with my studio guests.

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Mixed Media Plaster Panel

Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.

Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.


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Decor Concrete Cast Bowl

One of the great things about my job is that I get to play with new products. Yesterday I had a go with a sample of coarse Decor Concrete from Pentart. It resembles sand when dry, and once the bonding agent is mixed in it moves like the magic sand stuff you can get in toy shops. It needs to be packed in a mould, and doesn’t mould round something such as a balloon as it doesn’t particularly stick to itself. A quick whizz in the microwave sets the bonding agent, and once it’s cooled, it can be removed from the mould. It becomes waterproof when baked at 200°C for five minutes. There is quite a lot of weight to the finished objects, and I’m amazed at how resilient the thin edges are. The finished surface looks like a light sandstone.

bowl360° product shots are so much easier now I have a foldio360 to fit in my Foldio 2 photo booth. They still have some kinks to work out (such as coordinating with DSLR remotely), but so far, so good! All I need to do now is practice getting items in the middle of the turntable…
img_7365This disc was moulded in the inside of a finished roll of tape, and then imprinted with a stamp image [That’s Crafty! ‘Beck’] and filled after baking with a water-based black outliner paste. I also added the metallic gold to the edge. Both items required a felt base to be added to avoid scratching any surface they were placed on.

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